• Civil unrestDOJ: 3 Cities Could Lose Federal Funding for Allowing Violence

    The U.S. Department of Justice said Monday that three U.S. cities have “permitted violence and destruction of property” to persist and threatened to cut federal funding if they don’t take measures to restore law and order. According to a news release, New York City, Portland, Oregon, and Seattle, Washington, risk the loss of funding. Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan responded to the DOJ statement. “This is thoroughly political and unconstitutional. The president is playing cheap political games with the congressionally directed funds,” the three said in a joint statement.

  • Money launderingTrillions of Dollars Laundered Through U.S., European Banks after Russian Sanctions

    Documents leaked to BuzzFeed News show that in almost two decades, between 1999 to 2017, major European and U.S. financial entities processed more than $2 trillion worth of suspicious transactions. Kremlin insiders and friends were the beneficiaries. Three names stand out: Arkady Rotenberg, a childhood friend of Vladimir Putin who has gone from an obscure businessman in the 1990s to a billionaire during Putin’s 20 years in power, and who was sanctioned, along with his brother and son, after the Russian annexation of Crimea; Semion Mogilevich, a Russian organized crime boss who is named on the FBI’s top 10 most wanted list; and Paul Manafort, a political strategist who led Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential election campaign from early June until mid-August 2016.

  • PERSPECTIVE: Threats to the HomelandHow Serious Are Threats to the U.S. Homeland?

    The 17 September hearing on “Worldwide Threats to the Homeland,” as its title suggests, does not make for happy watching. Daniel Byman and Seamus Hughes write that, indeed, statements by FBI Director Christopher Wray and National Counterterrorism Center Director Christopher Miller duly assess an array of dangers related to national security, including election interference, a more aggressive Russia and China, and emergent technologies. Most of their remarks, however, focused on terrorist groups and networks and the threats they pose. “The biggest danger the directors warned about is from lone actors who self-radicalize and act on their own.” Byman and Hughes write. “Wray warned that the most recent uptick is from anti-government violent extremists, some of whom have white supremacist views but many of whom, like the Three Percenters and boogaloos, see themselves as patriots fighting government ‘tyranny’.”

  • ExtremismAnarchist Groups Tied to Riots in 4 U.S. Cities

    By Masood Farivar

    Far-right groups in America such as the anti-government Boogaloo Boys have long used a host of tactics and platforms to incite violence, including dehumanizing memes, online forums and organized militias. Now, left-wing groups are employing many of the same tactics against police and other targets during the social justice protests since the death of George Floyd, according to a new report.

  • ExtremismPortland and Kenosha Violence Was Predictable – and Preventable

    By Cynthia Miller-Idriss

    The U.S. reached a deadly moment in protests over racial injustice, as back-to-back shootings in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and Portland, Oregon, on 25 August and 29 took the lives of three people and seriously injured another. It was tragic – but not surprising. The shooters and victims in Kenosha and Portland reflect an escalating risk of spontaneous violence as heavily armed citizen vigilantes and individuals mobilize at demonstrations and protests.

  • Brief Takes // By Ben FrankelWords and Deeds: Increasingly Militant Social Media Discourse by Far-Left Extremists

    The increasingly militant social media discourse by anarcho-socialist extremists is worrisome, even if far-left extremists are not viewed by security experts inside and outside government as posing as much of a domestic terrorism threat as do far-right extremists and Islamist jihadists — at least not yet. A new report by the Network Contagion Research Institute (NCRI) – a sequel to an earlier report on Boogaloo Bois — analyzes the increasingly militant languages of social media postings by anarcho-socialists, noting that on the far-right violent words preceded violent actions. It may be the case on the far-left as well.

  • DHSReforming DHS

    The arrests of U.S. citizens on the streets of Portland, Oregon, by unidentified DHS personnel have raised concerns about the department, its mission, and its focus. These concerns were expressed, among others, by former DHS secretaries. Michael Chertoff, Tom Ridge, and Jeh Johnson. A new report published the Center for American Progress (CAP) recommends five immediate steps that the next administration and Congress should take to begin to refocus the department and prevent its personnel from being used in the future as federal police force.

  • Domestic terrorism19 Years after 9/11, Americans Continue to Fear Foreign Extremists and Underplay the Dangers of Domestic Terrorism

    By Jeff Gruenewald, Joshua D. Freilich, Steven Chermak, and William Parkin

    Nineteen years after the 9/11 attacks, Americans’ ideas of what terrorism is remain tied to that morning. But focusing solely on Islamist extremism groups like al-Qaeda when investigating, researching and developing counterterrorism policies does not necessarily align with what the numbers tell us. Homegrown far-right extremism also poses a persistent and lethal threat to the lives and well-being of Americans. This risk is often underestimated because of the devastating impact of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. It is imperative to support policies, programs and research aimed at countering all forms of violent extremism.

  • Predictive policingTechnology Can’t Predict Crime, It Can Only Weaponize Proximity to Policing

    By Matthew Guariglia

    Predictive policing is a self-fulfilling prophecy. If police focus their efforts in one neighborhood and arrest dozens of people there during the span of a week, the data will reflect that area as a hotbed of criminal activity. The system also considers only reported crime, which means that neighborhoods and communities where the police are called more often might see a higher likelihood of having predictive policing technology concentrate resources there.

  • Domestic terrorismTwo Boogaloo Followers Charged with Trying to Sell Weapons to, Become Mercenaries for Hamas

    Federal prosecutors charged two self-proclaimed “Boogaloo Boys” with trying to sell weapons to someone they believed was a member of the Palestinian Islamist terrorist group Hamas for the purpose of attacking Israeli and U.S. soldiers. Prosecutors said that the two also considered becoming “mercenaries” for Hamas in order to raise funds for and boost the reputation of the Boogaloo movement.

  • PERSPECTIVE: Countering violent extremism (CVE)To Prevent Extremist Violence in the United States, Think Beyond the Homeland Security Box

    Over the past decade, with the FBI focused on surveilling and otherwise investigating suspected terrorists, the United States has relied on the Department of Homeland Security to work with local law enforcement, municipalities and communities to strengthen their capacity to prevent violent extremism. “Our research and experience shows that the department’s emphasis on security can be counterproductive and that the most promising strategies can be found in models and partnerships led by actors not involved in security,” Eric Rosand, and Stevan Weine write.

  • ExtremismWhat – or Who – Is Antifa?

    By Stanislav Vysotsky

    The movement called “antifa” gets its name from a short form of “anti-fascist,” which is about the only thing its members agree on. Antifa as a decentralized collection of individual activists who mostly use nonviolent methods to achieve their ends. There are more militant anti-fascists, too, who mostly engage in non-militant activism but are willing, at times, to use more confrontational tactics. These people are more open to counterprotesting, sabotage and the use of force, which includes acts of violence.

  • Texas killingsA Fort Hood Serial Killer on the Loose?

    By Cassandra Pollock

    A dozen Texas Senate members are reupping their request for a congressional investigation into the Fort Hood military base after a soldier was found dead earlier this week, becoming at least the ninth person stationed at the Killeen post to have been found dead this year.

  • GunsRise in Gun Purchases after Mass Shootings Tied to Fear of Firearm Regulations

    Surges in firearm acquisition after mass shootings is a well-documented phenomenon, but analytic research into the causes of this behavior — be it driven by a desire for self-protection, or a fear that access to firearms will be curtailed — is sparse. A new is applying a data science methodology to create a model of the “firearms ecosystem” to identify how decisions to buy guns are affected by individual, social network, and state-level factors.

  • GunsWhy Americans Are Buying More Guns Than Ever

    By Aimee Huff and Michelle Barnhart

    Americans have been on a record gun-buying spree in recent months. Gun sales typically have seasonal cycles, with more guns being sold in winter months, and increase in presidential election years and after high-profile mass shootings. However, the 2020 pandemic spurred a record-setting surge in demand for firearms. Gun sales first spiked in March, when lockdown orders began in the U.S. The figures jumped again in June following nationwide protests over the killing of George Floyd. Our research examines American gun culture and offers insights into the complex relationship between Americans and guns. We believe there are three general reasons why people are purchasing firearms now.